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  • Blueberries work well in a variety of recipes

  • Here in North Carolina it is the wonderful blueberry season. Blueberries are a great antioxidant and are very delicious also. They can be easily frozen by placing them unwashed on baking sheets then freezing for 2 hours then place by one-cupfuls into plastic sandwich bags and freeze for future use.
  • Here in North Carolina it is the wonderful blueberry season. Blueberries are a great antioxidant and are very delicious also. They can be easily frozen by placing them unwashed on baking sheets then freezing for 2 hours then place by one-cupfuls into plastic sandwich bags and freeze for future use.
    Blueberries can be cooked by themselves in jams, pies, smoothies, and sauces, or cooked with meat, pork, fish, shrimp, or tossed into a fruit salad or even a salmon or tuna fish salad. They work well in breads, scones, muffins, pancakes, pies, crisps, cobblers, ice cream, and preserves. Use your creative imagination to enjoy this majestic blue fruit.
    Enjoy!
     
    Blueberry-Cantaloupe Salsa
    2 cups fresh blueberries
    1 ½ cups cantaloupe, diced small
    ½ cup red onion, finely chopped
    ½ cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
    2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    1 teaspoon lime zest
    1 tablespoon honey
    rinse blueberries and pat dry with paper towels. In a bowl gently combine blueberries, cantaloupe, onion, red pepper, and cilantro. In a cup stir together honey, lime juice, and lime zest; gently stir into salsa. Let salsa sit out for an hour or two, then either refrigerate or serve.
     
    Blueberry-Mandarin Orange and Onion Salad
    2 cups fresh blueberries
    1 can Mandarin oranges, drained
    1 medium EVOO, olive oil
    ½ teaspoon dried oregano
    1 tablespoon dried crushed basil
    2 teaspoons celery seed (Optional)
    2 teaspoons honey
    1 garlic clove, minced
    3 tablespoons cider vinegar
    Wash blueberries and pat dry with paper towels. Drain Mandarin oranges. Slice onions very thin. In a clear glass bowl gently toss together blueberries and oranges with onions. Set aside.
    In another bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, honey, garlic, celery seed, basil, and oregano. Pour over salad and gently toss together to coat. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours before serving, not longer. Serve immediately.
     
    Grilled Pork Chops with Blueberry Chutney
    1 ½ cups fresh blueberries
    ½ cup red onion, finely chopped
    ½ lime, juiced and juice reserved
    2 tablespoons brown sugar
    Pinch of salt
    4 1-inch thick pork chops
    Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
    In a saucepan combine blueberries, red onion, lime juice, brown sugar, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until berries begin to break down, about 10 minutes.
    Grill pork chops, sprinkled with salt and pepper, for 4-5 minutes on each side. Top with blueberry chutney and serve.
     
    Blueberry Scones
    2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    Pinch of salt
    ½ cup butter, chilled, cut into cubes
    Page 2 of 3 - ½ cup fresh blueberries
    ¼ cup heavy cream, plus ¼ cup heavy cream divided
    Coarse sugar
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. By hand mix in butter until mixture is coarse and even-grained. Do not over mix.
    Gently with a spoon fold in blueberries, then add ¾ cup heavy cream. Gently stir to just moisten the flour. If you over mix the scones will be tough. Knead dough briefly on a lightly floured surface. Roll out into a 12-inch circle about ½-inch thick. Cut into 12 wedges. Separate wedges and place on a parchment lined baking sheet about 1-inch apart. Brush tops with ¼ cup heavy cream. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
    Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until tops are lightly golden brown.
    Serve with butter, blueberry jam, or whipped cream.
     
    Blueberry-Peach Crisp
    6 cups or 3 pints fresh blueberries
    3 peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into 1-inch pieces
    ½ cup granulated sugar
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
    1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
    Pinch of salt
    Topping:
    ¾ cup all-purpose flour
    ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick cooking)
    ½ cup pecans, chopped
    ½ teaspoon baking powder
    Pinch of salt
    6 tablespoons butter, softened
    1/3 cup granulated sugar
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
    In a large bowl toss together blueberries, peaches, sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, orange juice, and salt. Pour into a 2-quart casserole baking dish.
    Topping: In a bowl whisk together flour, oats, nuts, baking powder, and salt.
    With an electric mixer cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir flour mixture into butter. Using your hands squeeze topping pieces together to form small clumps.
    Sprinkle topping evenly over blueberry filling. Bake until filling is bubbling in the center and the topping is a golden brown, about 60-70 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes.
     
    Blueberry Bundt Cake
    2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    Pinch of salt
    ¼ teaspoon baking soda
    2/3 cup milk
    2/3 cup heavy cream
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    2 ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar
    1 ¾ sticks butter, room temperature
    5 eggs, room temperature
    1 ½ cups blueberries
    1 tablespoon flour
    Confectioners’ sugar
    Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
    In a large bowl whisk together flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda; set aside.
    In another bowl mix together milk, cream, and vanilla; set aside.
    In another bowl with an electric mixer cream together sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add flour mixture in 3 –parts, alternating with milk mixture beginning and ending with flour. Once everything has been added beat with mixer for another minute.
    Page 3 of 3 - Powder-baking spray coat a bundt pan. Pour batter evenly into pan.
    In a bowl toss blueberries with 1-tablespoon flour to dust. Gently fold in blueberries once the batter is in the pan.
    Bake in a 325 degree oven for 60-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    Place on wire rack to cool for 10-minutes. Then place the wire rack face down on the cake. Invert and flip the rack; place on counter. Give the cake a minute or two and lift the pan off the cake. Cool completely.
    Before serving dust with confectioners’ sugar or use Lemon glaze.
    Lemon Glaze
    2 lemons juiced
    Confectioners’ sugar
    In a bowl mix together lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar until desired consistency is made, I like it nice and thick. Then drizzle desired amount over the cake.
     
    Hope Cusick has won awards at the North Carolina Strawberry Festival in 2012; The North Carolina Blueberry Festival, winning first place for her Blueberry Cheese Danish Pastry in 2012, and placing on her blueberry spinach salad and dressing; and has won various other contest awards for her blueberry cheesecake, breads, cookies, brownies and jams. She resides in Hampstead.

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